Dow Jones & Company

The administration building (Building #4) at the campus of Dow Jones & Company was erected between 1979 and 1981.  Shortly after construction, occupants observed water leakage at the walls.  Despite remedial efforts over the years, leakage continued, the opaque film (opacifier) on the spandrel glass deteriorated, and some of the insulating glass units began to fog.  SGH investigated the leakage and developed a remedial plan for the office building. 

Scope | Solutions

SGH investigated the original curtain wall system that consisted of tubular structural aluminum framing, structural neoprene glazing gaskets, reflective insulating glass vision units, and opacified reflective glass spandrels.  For this project, we:

  • Performed field surveys, water testing, partial disassembly of curtain wall components, dew/frost point testing of insulating glass, and laboratory analysis of deteriorated reflective glass coatings
  • Determined that water bypassed the outside compression seals of the gasket lip on the glass, the glazing system lacked an effective means to drain water back to the exterior, and installation defects exacerbated the leakage,
  • Designed a retrofit system that retained the curtain wall framing, but replaced defective glass capture components, thus saving the involved parties substantial funds and facilitated settlement of the dispute
  • Developed remedial drawings and specifications
  • Monitored the remedial work for conformance with the construction documents

Our findings allowed the owner to recover the full cost of curtain wall replacement.  SGH developed a curtain wall replacement program that permitted the building to remain fully occupied during reconstruction, thus preventing significant impact to office operations.